Written by Gary James
This Utility program is designed for owners of a Dillon XL650 Progressive Loader.
The program has been tested, and runs under Windows 2000, XP and Vista.
The XL650 Reloading Utility is the result of my desire to enjoy the reloading aspect of my shooting hobby, by using the finest reloading equipment available, and at the same time minimize my costs so I could maximize my shooting fun.
While researching the XL650 reloading manual I discovered that many of the parts used to reload different cartridges are interchangeable. That is to say, they can be used to load more than a single caliber. For example, the Shell plate used to load the .45 ACP Pistol cartridge, is the same Shell plate used to load the .30-06 and .270 Rifle cartridges. With this in mind I decided that a computer program could maintain a database of Conversion Kits and Individual parts, could also make reloading simpler and less expensive if I could simply ask the computer "what additional caliber's can I reload with the parts that I already have on-hand". Or likewise ask the computer for a list of parts that I have to purchase to load a specific caliber that I don't already own, either in Kit form or individually.
My Dillon XL650 Utility program does this and more. The program lets you alter the database so you can keep up to date as Dillon offers new Caliber Conversion Kits. You can control the display to show either Rifle, Pistol or both types of cartridges. You can also have the program filter the display to show only those Caliber's that use a specific part number for a Shell plate, Arm Bushing, or whatever. You can also call up context sensitive help that describes how to use the program. All of these operations are easily performed using the Left and Right Mouse buttons. Right click the mouse when the cursor is over any of the program's controls to get a menu of options. The Right Mouse button is the key to most of the programs functionality.
Download the Software
The first step to running the Dillon XL650 utility program is to download the software. When asked where to save it, just use the default name and location. The location is not important for this step. Just make sure that you remember where you saved it. Or you could simply choose to Run the program. If Run is selected, the program will be copied to your computer, and the Setup program will be run automatically.
DOWNLOAD <--Click here to download the program. The file is ~543K in its compressed form.
The Dillon XL650 program is packed in a self contained Setup file. To install the program just double-click on the SetupDillon650.exe program. The Installation program will install the files on your computer, and provide an un-install feature should you later choose to remove it (although that's highly unlikely because it's such a great piece of software).
After the program has been installed, you can delete the SetupDillon650.exe program if you choose.
This section gives you a quick introduction on how to use the Dillon XL 650 Reloading Utility Software. You may want to print this page and keep it handy when you use the program.
Start the program and press the check-box labeled Show Help Hints so that the box is checked. When Help Hints are enabled you will see a brief help hint in the status bar at the bottom of the display window that briefly tells you what the control under the cursor does. When the cursor is over the main list display window, the help hint tells you what, if any, filtering has been applied to the list.
Next we will perform a series of steps to become familiar with the software. We'll begin our lesson with the main display window. This windows is referred to as the Caliber Conversion Kits List. This is the area where Conversion Kits are displayed, or the Conversion Kit database can be edited.
When Conversion Kits are being displayed, the list can be limited to show Rifle, Pistol, Neither or Both types of Kits. Although "showing' neither is pretty senseless. Additionally the display can be filtered to show only those Kits that contain a particular part. For example, you can display a list of only those Kits that use the same Shell plate that's used to load .45 ACP ammo. Lastly, you can get a list of all the Caliber's that you can load, using just the Conversion Kits, and individual XL650 Caliber Change Parts that you currently own.
From the main display window you can also make changes to the XL650 conversion kit database. You can Mark or Un-mark Kits that you own, or you can Add or Remove Kits from the database. You can also change the order of the displayed Kits if you like.
For example, to get a listing of all Rifle Caliber Conversion Kits that contain the same Funnel used by the .270 Winchester, perform the following steps:
- Start the Dillon Utility if not already running.
- Turn On Help Hints.
- Turn On the Rifle caliber checkbox.
- Turn Off the Pistol caliber checkbox.
- Left click the listbox display entry for .270 Win. It will change to gray showing that it has been selected.
- Now Left click the mouse on the Sort Button labeled Funnel. This button is in the row of buttons just above the Conversion Kit listbox. Move the mouse cursor down and over the main Conversion Kits display window. Notice that an appropriate message is displayed in the status box at the bottom of the program Window.
- You will now see a list of only those Kits that use the same Funnel as the .270 Winchester.
- To restore the full database listing, Left click the mouse over the Complete Conversion sort button. The listing is returned to the full database, and this is confirmed by the message in the status box.
Now, lets change this example to show Conversion Kits from both Rifle and Pistol calibers. Perform steps 1 through 4 above again, then continue with the following.
- Instead of pressing the Funnel button, press the button labeled "Shell plate Number".
- You'll see a list of just Rifle Conversion Kits that use the same Shell plate as the .270 Winchester.
- Turn On the Pistol caliber checkbox.
- Notice that .45 ACP and .45 Win Mag have been added to the list.
- Turn Off the Rifle caliber checkbox.
- Notice that only the Pistol calibers are displayed.
- Turn On the Rifle checkbox, and click the Complete Conversion button to restore the full database listing.
In the main display window, the Caliber Conversion Kits have been placed in the same display order as they appear in the Dillon manual. If you would like to change the display order of any of the Caliber Conversion Kits, perform the following steps.
- Select either the Rifle or Pistol calibers, but not both. You can only change the display order of calibers within one type, not between types.
- Left Click the mouse button over the Conversion Kit that you want to move. It will change to a light gray highlight showing that it has been selected.
- Now click the Left Mouse button over the highlighted selection, and slowly drag the cursor to the position in the listbox where you want to move the selected Kit. Note that as you move the cursor between listbox entries it briefly changes into a different character. This indicates that the selected Kit can be inserted at the point just under the cursor.
- Release the Left mouse button, and the Conversion Kit will be moved to the new location.
To take advantage of all of the features in the XL650 Reloading software, you must tell the program which Dillon Conversion kits you already have purchased. This is done by Marking the kits that you own. To Mark or Un-mark Conversion Kits, perform the following.
- Left click the Conversion Kit display entry for the kit that you want to change. It will change to gray showing that it has been selected.
- With the cursor over the selected item, Right click the mouse to bring up an action menu. If the selected item is already marked, the menu will contain a selection that lets you un-mark it. Likewise if the selection was unmarked, the menu will have a selection that lets you mark it. Marked items (the ones you own) are displayed in Yellow in the Conversion Kit display window.
- When you have finished Marking the kits that you own, you will see that all of the associated entries in the Kit display window now show up with a yellow background.
On the chance that you find an error in the Conversion kit database, the software allows you to make changes to correct problems. To edit a specific Conversion Kit, perform the following.
- Left click the listbox display entry for the Conversion kit that you want to edit. It will change to gray showing that it has been selected.
- With the mouse cursor over the selected item, Right click the mouse to bring up an action menu. Select the Edit ... item from the menu. The Conversion Kit Data Edit Dialog box is displayed allowing you to make the desired changes. You make changes by selecting new parts from the drop-down combo boxes. Parts that are used in a kit that you had marked as owned show up as being (In-Kit). This information is used by the software when you ask it to display calibers that you can reload from the parts and kit that you own. It is displayed here for reference purposes only.
Note, if you want to make a change to one of the Parts that make up the Kit, to a completely add a new part that does not yet exist in the database, you must first add that part to the database from one of the part edit dialog boxes. Then it will be available for you to select in the Kit editing dialog.
To add a new Kit to the database, the procedure is a little different.
- You must first decide if you want to add a Rifle or Pistol Kit. This is done simply by selecting the Rifle or Pistol checkbox, then deselecting the other cartridge type.
- Move the mouse cursor over the button labeled "Complete Conversion" then Right click to bring up an action menu. Select the "Add conversion kit ..." entry.
- You will be shown the same dialog box that is used to edit a kit, except the fields for Part Number and Description will be blank. Enter the appropriate information into these fields, then select the proper parts that are used to make-up the kit.
To either add a new Part to the database, or to mark a Part as being owned, or on the rare chance that you find an error in one of the existing Parts in the database, the software also allows you to make changes to the Parts database.
- Identify the type of part that you want to Add, Mark or Edit. For example a Shell plate.
- Move the mouse cursor over, and Right click the button labeled "Shell plate Number" to bring up an action menu.
- Select the "Edit shellplates ... " menu item.
- A dialog box appears that allows you to make your changes.
- To add a new Part to the database, first type the Dillon Part Number in the edit box labeled Part number, then enter the Dillon information code into the edit box labeled Part info. With Part number information present, the button labeled Add Part is enabled, allowing you to press it. When you press the Add Part button, the part number is added to the Parts listbox. At this point the database has not yet been changed. The database will actually be changed When you press the OK button to leave the Dialog box.
- To delete a Part from the database, simply select it, then press the Delete button. You will be asked if you really want to delete the part. Press the Yes button to delete the part. Or No to cancel. Again no change occurs until you exit the Dialog box.
- To Mark or Un-mark a Part as being owned, simply select it, then press the Mark or Un-mark button (The button text changes, depending if the selected part is currently Marked or Unmarked). Note also that you can't change the marked state of a part that is identified as being owned as part of a kit. Parts marked as (In Kit) will be unmarked if the conversion kit is also Unmarked.
- To change a Part that is already in the database, you must delete it, then re-enter it with the correct information.
You are now ready to use the two most powerful features of the software, "What do I need?" and "What can I load?". The "What do I need?" feature will give you a list of Parts that you need to purchase so that when combined with the Caliber Conversion Kits and loose Parts that you already own, will allow you to reload a selected caliber. For example.
- From a clean database that has not had any Parts or Kits marked as owned, select the .270 Win Rifle kit and mark it as owned. This is what you would do if you had previously purchased the Dillon .270 Win Caliber Conversion Kit #21093.
- Now you decide that you want to start reloading the 30-06 cartridge. You could run out an buy the 30-06 Caliber Conversion kit Dillon part number #21095. But since you were smart enough to download the Dillon XL650 Reloading Utility, you first select the 30-06 kit entry, then Right click the mouse and select the "What do I need ..." item in the action menu.
- From the pop-up display window you can see that every part that you need to load 30-06, except for the Funnel (and optional Case feed disc if you didn't purchase it and mark it as an owned part), are already contained in the .270 Win Conversion kit. So you make a note of this and run down to your local Dillon dealer and purchase this one (or two) Parts. And with the money you just saved, you buy yourself an extra can of Bullseye (or whatever) and go to bed saying a prayer for that wonderful program written by that great humanitarian, Gary James (me!)
And lastly the program can supply you with a list of all calibers that you can load by using just the Conversion kits and loose Parts that you have purchased and marked as owned in the database.
- From the above example you have just the .270 Win caliber Marked as owned.
- Move the mouse cursor over, and Right click the button labeled "Complete Conversion" to bring up an action menu.
- Select the "What can I load?" menu item.
- The Conversion kit display window filters out all entries except those calibers that can also loaded with the .270 Win Conversion kit. The display shows that you can load both the .270 Win and the 6.5 x 55 mm Mauser with the .270 kit.
- Left Click the mouse in the "Complete Conversion" button to restore the full database listing.
The program provides extensive On-line Help that can be called up by pressing the F1 key, or the Help Button. Also most menu selections and dialogs have Help available. My apologies to Dillon for the remarkable resemblance between the images in my Help file and the drawings in the XL650 manual (wink ... wink ...).
This program is provided free of charge with the understanding that there is no support provided. This is pretty much due to the fact that I'm a lowly underpaid Software Engineer with a wife and two sons that shoot, and several very hungry firearms that need constant feeding, I work too much, and have too little time left over to reload, shoot, maintain a Web Site, support a Freeware program and have a real life too.
If you like the program, or even if you absolutely hate it, send me an email message to let me know why. It's nice to know that somebody has an opinion of your work, one way or another!
For additional information about Dillon Reloading presses and related products,
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Copyright © 1996-2010 Gary James
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This page last revised: August 07, 2010